Australian bankers count their blessings

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The parlous state of the greenback is bad news for anyone paid in US dollars. Fortunately, it seems most Australian bankers aren't.

In London, most bankers at US investment banks receive their end of year bonuses (which can account for around 90% of their total pay), in US dollars. The fact that the US dollar has fallen 5% against the UK pound since October and 13% since the start of the year, is therefore bad news for anyone being paid in the currency - particularly as this is predicted to be a bumper year for bonuses.

A similar fate could well await any bankers paid in US dollars for their efforts in Sydney. The American currency has declined nearly 7% against the Australian dollar since June.

According to two US banks in the city, the dollar decline won't be a problem, however. Australian spokespeople for both Citigroup and Merrill Lynch said that because organisations have sizeable local profit centres, bonuses are paid out in AU dollars from a local bonus pool.

Hays Banking senior consultant Oliver Garside said the exchange rate fall will only really be a problem for Sydney bankers on temporary assignments from the US, who are typically paid in the US currency: "Most people aren't going to be impacted."

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